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David Beckham Ready to Play Soccer in America

David Beckham Ready to Play Soccer in America

David Beckham Ready to Play Soccer in America

Before David Beckham can make America love soccer, he has to get used to soccer in America.

Like what to call it.

It's football to the rest of the world, and the superstar from England kept getting "soccer" stuck in his throat when he was introduced Friday amid confetti and screaming fans as the Los Angeles Galaxy's new $32-million man.

"I've called it football my whole life," Beckham said, smiling. "Calling it soccer is not a problem for me. Well, at the moment it is because I keep getting it mixed up, but at some point I'll get it after a couple of weeks."

And no, Beckham said, he doesn't expect Americans to change their ways; he said he wants to adapt to his new country's lingo.

Beckham will be living in Beverly Hills and working at Home Depot - Center, that is. The Galaxy's stadium was stuffed with 5,000 fans and hundreds of reporters and photographers intent on recording every gesture and word uttered by him.

Six months of anticipation culminated with Beckham accepting his new No. 23 jersey on a stage set up on the field with cannons shooting out blue, gold and white confetti.

"It's nice to see so many fans, and I thank you for that," he told the crowd sweating under a hot sun. "Now my family have moved to Los Angeles, something we're looking forward to, something we're very proud of, and in our life everything's perfect."

The Galaxy is paying Beckham $32.5 million over five years to turn the struggling team into a winner and promote soccer in the United States, where it badly trails football - the American variety - basketball and baseball in popularity. The Galaxy is next to last in the Western Conference with a 3-5-4 record.

"I think soccer in America has a lot of potential, just maybe something is missing to take it to another level, and I'm hoping I'm going to be part of that," said Beckham, whose playing debut is set for July 21. "There's been expectations all the way through my career, and at the moment this is a big one. Hopefully, I can handle it in the right way."

There are lots of other newsworthy material surrounding Beckham and his Spice Girl wife, Victoria, and their kids as they come to America. Here are some of the wagers available in the celebrity betting section of the Bodog Sportsbook.

Bet On: Will a paparazzo be arrested for trespassing on David and Victoria Beckham's property in 2007?

    * YES +400
    * NO -700

Bet On: Will Victoria Beckham talk about Scientology on the premiere of the NBC special "Victoria Beckham: Coming to America"?

    * YES -1000
    * NO +500

And, of course, you can wager on Beckham the old-fashioned way - by betting on soccer.

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